Sunday, January 24, 2010


The 33 1/3 books are for the music fans out there. Each book takes as its starting point an important pop/rock/rap record and then goes where the author wants to take it. Some, like Kate Schatz's book on Rid of Me, barely reference the album, but tell personal stories tied to the album. Others like Jeffrey Rosegen's Rum Sodomy and the Lash mix fiction and study of the album.

Compared to those, Ben Sisario's book on the Pixies break out CD Doolittle is fairly conventional. The narrative starts with Sisario going on a drive with Frank Black (AKA Black Francis and Charles Thompson.) Sisario tells the entire history of the band in the book, but focuses on the creation of Doolittle. He keeps coming back to his drive with Frank Black who with distance seems a bit mystified by the album himself.

There is lots of good analysis in this one. Sisario, a professional music writer, notes that everyone, starting with Nirvana, calls the Pixie an influence or a touchstone, but that almost no one sounds like them. He attributes this to much of rock, alternative or otherwise losing the sense of whimsy and the absurd that drove Frank Black. I would say that Pavement shared that lyrical approach although they certainly don't sound like the Pixies.

Below is Here Comes Your Man. It is the most poppy of all their songs, but they can't help but to tweak with the notion of videos here..

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